Back in January…

So there I was going though some photographs from January when I saw some delicious looking dishes from Wahaca. I realised that I had this great meal and hadn’t written (well I had started but not finished) a blog post about it.

Well, so back in January I was in London for a morning meeting, so I had been up early and was feeling hungry so was looking somewhere for lunch. I know how much I had enjoyed the food at Wahaca I decided it was pretty much a no brainer to go there for lunch, especially as I had a special offer in my email inbox.

The nearest branch to me was the Covent Garden one. Each Wahaca branch has its own style and feel. The Covent Garde branch is downstairs in the basement, but does feel quite bright and open.

There was a lovely warm welcome from the staff and I sat at the table and viewed the menu.

I had a special offer which meant I could get a dish for a pound.

Pack your January with veg and treat yourself with our ultimate range of vegetarian street food dishes. From buttermilk cauliflower bites to our mushroom and grilled cheese tacos there’s plenty of delicious veggie dishes to add to your meal. Just show this email to your waiter to get your dish for £1 

For me that was an easy choice and I went with the crispy cauliflower bites, crispy buttermilk-battered florets, with roast serrano allioli.

crispy cauliflower bites, crispy buttermilk-battered florets, with roast serrano allioli.

These were delicious crunchy florets with a soft melt in the mouth centre, accompanied with a tasty allioli. I really like these and enjoyed these.

I had another dish, the prawn cocktail tostada. 

prawn cocktail tostada

This was sustainably sourced prawns with red chilli mayo, crisp lettuce & avocado on crispy tostada. This was the Wahaca version of the prawn cocktail. It was not as good as I hoped, the prawns lacked flavour, as did the avocado, but it was still fresh and tasty.

My third dish was grilled mushroom & cheese tacos.

grilled mushroom & cheese tacos

These were sweet ancho rubbed mushrooms with crispy grilled cheese. The mushrooms were delicious and I really enjoyed that strong flavour of funghi and spicy ancho. I do find that Wahaca often add crispy grilled cheese to dishes, which I don’t always see that it adds anything to that dish.

I was feeling hungry, so I went with another dish and went with the steak and cheese tacos.

steak & cheese tacos

This was chargrilled steak served with grilled cheese, chipotle salsa & avocado. Again more grilled cheese. This use to be an optional extra, but now was part of the dish. I’ve had this dish a fair few times, and this was not the best version I’ve had of this dish, but it was still quite tasty.

Overall I enjoyed my four dishes, the mushrooms and cauliflower were certainly the ones I enjoyed the most.

Not quite a Premier Dinner

If you are looking for a cheap hotel, that isn’t Travelodge, then I am usually quite pleased with Premier Inn. I’ve felt that Premier Inn, which is generally not that much more expensive than the Travelodge have nicer rooms and definitely much nicer breakfasts. On a recent trip to Cambridge I stayed at the Premier Inn near to the A14. Knowing that I was arriving late on a Sunday, I decided to take advantage of their £22 meal deal.

Enjoy a delicious three course evening meal from our Meal Deal menu featuring specially selected dishes, plus a drink of your choice. Then the next day, eat as much as you like of our freshly prepared Premier breakfast, all for just £22.

As breakfast on its own costs £8.25 I thought that wasn’t such a bad deal.

Having arrived ordered a pint of bitter (part of the deal) and looked over the menu.

For the starter I went with the classic Prawn Cocktail, served on crisp salad leaves with tomato, cucumber, a classic Marie Rose sauce and buttered brown bread.

rawn Cocktail, served on crisp salad leaves with tomato, cucumber, a classic Marie Rose sauce and buttered brown bread.

Interestingly the menu you download from the web site says that this can’t be chosen as part of the meal deal, whereas the menu at the hotel says it can be. There were similar inconsistencies across other items too. As for the prawn cocktail, well I was surprised to see large prawns, I was expecting the smaller prawns you normally find in prawn cocktails. It was apparent that the Marie Rose sauce was from a bottle and there was slightly too much paprika! Alas the prawns lacked flavour and were too chilled and so were overpowered by the sauce. The salad was fresh and crisp and the lemon was a nice touch.

For my main I went with the 10oz rump steak that according to the menu, came with a grilled tomato, peas, a flat mushoom and chips, which was described on the menu as firm, meaty and flavoursome. I think they meant to say tough, chewy and bland! Okay it’s a rump steak and in terms of cuts of meat that is not a tender melt in the mouth option, it normally is firm and chewy. I thought it lacked flavour, which is normally the reason for chewing, sorry choosing the rump cut.

10oz rump steak that according to the menu, came with a grilled tomato, peas, a flat mushoom and chips, which was described on the menu as firm, meaty and flavoursome.

As you can see from the photograph I didn’t get a grilled flat mushroom, I guess the kitchen had run out.

For desert I made a mistake and went with the Caramel Apple Crumble. This was an apple crumble smothered with sweet, sticky caramel served with custard.

Caramel Apple Crumble

This was way too sweet and the sticky caramel sauce was horrible, it clung to the top of my mouth and stayed there. I didn’t finish the dish and left most of it.

So as the blog title says this was not premier dining and for the price I don’t think you can expect it to be. However in terms of value for money and convenience it wasn’t too bad, but I wouldn’t have the crumble again…